Motherhood and academia
DOI link for Motherhood and academia
Motherhood and academia book
In An Ethics of Sexual Difference, Irigaray (1993) asks us to celebrate mucus for “its abundance . . . its availability, its joyfulness, its flesh” (pp110–111). This chapter uses Irigaray’s metaphor of mucus, and its connections with her concepts of sexual difference and women’s two sets of lips, to perform a feminist writing of the lived experience of motherhood and academia. To illustrate the worlds of maternity and the academy, italicised autoethnographic ‘sticky moments’ interrupt scholarly writing. Mucus offers a metonymy for this practice of writing. Both academic work and motherhood are excessive. The ideal academic subject is unencumbered by caring responsibilities, and succeeds as an individual within a managerialist-audit system of performance measures, research outputs, impact metrics and funding targets. Disrupting this, here she is – a mother and an academic – leaking all over the place and making academia messy.